Quick facts about the Bronchial Thermoplasty (BT) procedure

  • BT, delivered by the Alair System, is a safe outpatient procedure performed in 3 sessions to ensure safety and optimal results every step of the way. The sessions are typically scheduled 3 weeks apart.
  • The procedure is performed by a specially trained pulmonologist, using a device called the Alair System.
  • Each session is routinely performed under moderate sedation and typically takes less than an hour to complete.
  • No incision is needed, because the procedure is performed with a bronchoscope inserted through the mouth or nose. A bronchoscope is a long, flexible tube with a camera on one end that allows the physician to see inside the airways.
  • The BT device applies mild heat inside the airways to reduce excessive smooth muscle. The reduction in muscle tissue helps minimize airway constriction.
  • The first session treats the airways in the right lower lobe of the lungs, the second treats the airways in the left lower lobe, and the third procedure treats the airways in both upper lobes of the lungs.
  • Following each procedure, you will be monitored to ensure your breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, level of oxygen in the blood, and lung function tests are near normal levels.
  • After all 3 procedures are performed, the treatment is complete. You will return to your regular doctor to continue managing your asthma.

Your BT treatment will be delayed if you currently have any of the following conditions:

  • You have an active respiratory infection.
  • You have a bleeding disorder.
  • You’ve had an asthma attack in the past 14 days.
  • You’ve had an increased or decreased dose of oral steroids for asthma in the past 14 days.
  • Your doctor says you cannot stop taking the following medications prior to the BT procedure: anticoagulants, antiplatelet agents, aspirin, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS).